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Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
Queen’s Promenade, North Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire
Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
associated engineer
Not known
date  28th June 1867
era  Victorian  |  category  Building  |  reference  SD306374
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Built during Britain's fascination with water therapy and 'the spa', the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool was originally named the Imperial Hydropathic Establishment. Built on the promenade at a cost of £50,000, Pesvner called the Imperial, "the climax of Blackpool hôtellerie".
The Imperial was built by the Blackpool Land & Building Company, which also developed the select Claremont Park area. In 1875 a new wing was built, and in 1904 J. B. Broadbent added an Edwardian extension.
With 230 bedrooms, the hotel originally competed with other hotels within the Blackpool Borough that offered water therapy, including the Norbreck Hydro. Several such hotels were supplied with clarified seawater from the Sea Water Works (see separate item).
To control access to the promenade, the Imperial erected toll gates at Lansdowne Crescent and Gynn Square. Pedestrians were required to pay 1 penny, and carriages 3 pence for admission.
Since is Victorian heyday, the hotel has undergone several shifts in fortune. In 1918 the Hotel was requisitioned and used as an Officers' hospital. It was requisitioned again during the Second World War for office accommodation for a total period of 11 years.
These days, when political parties hold their conferences in Blackpool, key ministers usually stay at the Imperial Hotel.
Architect: Clegg & Jones (1867-8), Mangnall & Littlewood (1875), J.B. Broadbent (1904)
Research: PD and AJD
bibliography
"Blackpool in Old Picture Postcards" by A W Wood and T Lightbown
Grafisch Bedrijf De Steigerpoort in Zaltbommel, Netherlands
"The Buildings of England: Lancashire The Rural North!"
by N. Pevsner, Penguin Books
"Victorian Blackpool" by G.S. Palmer and B.R. Turner
Palmer & Turner, Cleveleys
"The Blackpool Story" by G.S. Palmer and B.R. Turner
Palmer & Turner, Cleveleys
Location

Imperial Hotel, Blackpool